Sunday, August 22, 2010

8 Foods That Boost Your Immune System

This was sent to me and i found it very interesting...

As we all learned in elementary school science class, all
living things need nourishment to survive.

Probiotics, the beneficial bacteria that live in your
intestines and make your immune system strong are no
different. These trillions of bacteria need food in order
to thrive, too.

Food for PRObiotic bacteria is called PREbiotics.

And the more you feed the probiotics in your gut, the
better they will survive and ward off dangerous pathogens
that you ingest, and the healthier your immune system will

And here's some great news for you...

Many prebiotics come from delicious foods and drinks.

Here are some examples:

1- Fresh fruits and vegetables--unpeeled

Antioxidant compounds called phenols are found just under
the skins of fruits and vegetables, and probiotics LOVE to
eat phenols.

Plus, fruits and vegetables also contain soluble fiber
which helps you in two ways...

First, your beneficial bacteria feed off the fiber.

Then they produce short-chain fatty acids as wastes.
These short-chain fatty acids slow the growth of dangerous
bacteria such as E. coli.

2- Trail mix

A blend of nuts and seeds is the perfect prebiotic. The
nuts and seeds are great sources of fiber, protein and
dietary phenols.

Just make sure to stay away from mixes that have candies
or yogurt-covered nuts, because they add refined sugar
(which ends up being food for the harmful bacteria in your
gut). That defeats the purpose.

3- Dark berry juices

Juices that contain good levels of dietary phenols include
those made from blueberries, raspberries, blackberries,
cranberries, pomegranates, cherries, and purple grapes.

Just be sure you're buying real JUICE--not a "juice drink"
which can contain little or no real juice. Read the label
if you're not sure. If the first and second ingredients
are water and sugar, forget it. It's not juice.

The only exception is cranberry juice cocktail. Pure
cranberry juice is quite tart, and the added water and
sugar make it tasty without completely compromising the
quality of the phenols from the cranberry juice.

4- Herbs and spices

Practically every herb and spice contains dietary phenols
(and they're alkaline -- another big PLUS for your body),
so spice things up all you want!

The herb with the highest phenol count is oregano, so if
you like pizza (light on the cheese, please), you're in luck.

Fresh herbs and spices have more dietary phenols than
dried, but both are good food for your beneficial bacteria.

5- Oats

Oats are loaded with beta-glucan, which is a soluble fiber
and an excellent prebiotic.

But all oats are not created equal. Stay away from those
flavored instant oatmeal packets because they're typically
loaded with refined sugar. You don't want to turn your
meal for your friendly bacteria into a feast for the
UNfriendly ones.

6- Legumes

Legumes include beans, lentils and peanuts. They're
loaded with soluble fiber (as well as protein and

The dietary phenol count of beans is one of the highest
per weight of any food in existence.

So go ahead and make some split pea soup, a batch of
hummus or a pot of chili and feed your friendly microbes.

7- Red wine

Good news for you cabernet, shiraz or merlot lovers!
Moderate consumption of red wine (1-2 glasses per day) not
only helps reduce risk of cardiovascualr disease, but red
wine also has one of the highest phenol contents of any
food or drink.

That's because red wine is made not only with the pulp of
the grapes, but also the skin and seeds. White wine uses
only the pulp, so it's not beneficial like red.

And the ultimate dream come true:

8- Dark chocolate

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